Publication Abstracts

Lerner et al. 2024

Lerner, P., A. Romanou, D. Nicholson, M. Kelley, R. Ruedy, and G. Russell, 2024: The sensitivity of the Equatorial Pacific ODZ to particulate organic matter remineralization in a climate model under pre-industrial conditions. Ocean Model., 188, 102303, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2023.102303.

Marine oxygen plays a fundamental role in regulating the transfer of organic carbon and nutrients to their dissolved inorganic forms, serving as the terminal electron acceptor for heterotrophic respiration. Oxygen can become limiting to these processes in coastal and open-ocean oxygen deficient zones (ODZs). The maintenance of ODZs depends on the balance between physical processes such as ventilation and biogeochemical processes such as remineralization. These two processes act in opposing directions on ODZs, with ventilation responsible for transporting oxygen from the surface, where it is near saturation with the partial pressure of O2 in the atmosphere, to deeper oxygen-depleted layers, and remineralization acting to consume oxygen through biogeochemical processes such as microbial degradation throughout the water column. Remineralization is represented in all CMIP6 models, but the actual parameterizations, as well as their magnitude, are widely varying.

In this study, we examine the sensitivity to remineralization of the equatorial Pacific ODZ (O2 < 60 µmol/kg) in a model; the NASA Ocean Biogeochemical Model (NOBM-G) embedded in the NASA-GISS coupled atmosphere-ocean model. We find that increasing the remineralization rate shoals the ODZ onset depth (i.e. the regionally averaged upper bound of the ODZ), and decreases ODZ volume and regional-averaged thickness. Changes in biological consumption and vertical convergence of oxygen are identified as the primary contributors to changes in ODZ onset depth. ODZ thickness is mainly influenced by the shoaling of the bottom boundary of the ODZ, which decreases with maximum remineralization rate due to decreasing oxygen consumption and increasing horizontal oxygen convergence in deep waters. On the other hand, vertically-averaged ODZ area has a more complex, non-monotonic relationship with maximum remineralization rate. While these findings suggest an important role for remineralization in determining the shape of the ODZ in our model, the relative importance of remineralization vs. other physical parameterizations remains to be established. While our results reflect the structure of our ocean biogeochemical model, the relationship of remineralization to ODZ characteristics in other models should be examined to better inform model inter-comparisons.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

@article{le08900u,
  author={Lerner, P. and Romanou, A. and Nicholson, D. and Kelley, M. and Ruedy, R. and Russell, G.},
  title={The sensitivity of the Equatorial Pacific ODZ to particulate organic matter remineralization in a climate model under pre-industrial conditions},
  year={2024},
  journal={Ocean Model.},
  volume={188},
  pages={102303},
  doi={10.1016/j.ocemod.2023.102303},
}

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - le08900u
AU  - Lerner, P.
AU  - Romanou, A.
AU  - Nicholson, D.
AU  - Kelley, M.
AU  - Ruedy, R.
AU  - Russell, G.
PY  - 2024
TI  - The sensitivity of the Equatorial Pacific ODZ to particulate organic matter remineralization in a climate model under pre-industrial conditions
JA  - Ocean Model.
VL  - 188
SP  - 102303
DO  - 10.1016/j.ocemod.2023.102303
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2024 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage